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David Avenges the Gibeonites

21 There was a famine during David’s reign that lasted for three years, so David asked the Lord about it. And the Lord said, “The famine has come because Saul and his family are guilty of murdering the Gibeonites.”

So the king summoned the Gibeonites. They were not part of Israel but were all that was left of the nation of the Amorites. The people of Israel had sworn not to kill them, but Saul, in his zeal for Israel and Judah, had tried to wipe them out. David asked them, “What can I do for you? How can I make amends so that you will bless the Lord’s people again?”

“Well, money can’t settle this matter between us and the family of Saul,” the Gibeonites replied. “Neither can we demand the life of anyone in Israel.”

“What can I do then?” David asked. “Just tell me and I will do it for you.”

Then they replied, “It was Saul who planned to destroy us, to keep us from having any place at all in the territory of Israel. So let seven of Saul’s sons be handed over to us, and we will execute them before the Lord at Gibeon, on the mountain of the Lord.[a]

“All right,” the king said, “I will do it.” The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth,[b] who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the Lord. But he gave them Saul’s two sons Armoni and Mephibosheth, whose mother was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. He also gave them the five sons of Saul’s daughter Merab,[c] the wife of Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. The men of Gibeon executed them on the mountain before the Lord. So all seven of them died together at the beginning of the barley harvest.

10 Then Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the mother of two of the men, spread burlap on a rock and stayed there the entire harvest season. She prevented the scavenger birds from tearing at their bodies during the day and stopped wild animals from eating them at night. 11 When David learned what Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, had done, 12 he went to the people of Jabesh-gilead and retrieved the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan. (When the Philistines had killed Saul and Jonathan on Mount Gilboa, the people of Jabesh-gilead stole their bodies from the public square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hung them.) 13 So David obtained the bones of Saul and Jonathan, as well as the bones of the men the Gibeonites had executed.

14 Then the king ordered that they bury the bones in the tomb of Kish, Saul’s father, at the town of Zela in the land of Benjamin. After that, God ended the famine in the land.

Battles against Philistine Giants

15 Once again the Philistines were at war with Israel. And when David and his men were in the thick of battle, David became weak and exhausted. 16 Ishbi-benob was a descendant of the giants[d]; his bronze spearhead weighed more than seven pounds,[e] and he was armed with a new sword. He had cornered David and was about to kill him. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men declared, “You are not going out to battle with us again! Why risk snuffing out the light of Israel?”

18 After this, there was another battle against the Philistines at Gob. As they fought, Sibbecai from Hushah killed Saph, another descendant of the giants.

19 During another battle at Gob, Elhanan son of Jair[f] from Bethlehem killed the brother of Goliath of Gath.[g] The handle of his spear was as thick as a weaver’s beam!

20 In another battle with the Philistines at Gath, they encountered a huge man[h] with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in all, who was also a descendant of the giants. 21 But when he defied and taunted Israel, he was killed by Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimea.[i]

22 These four Philistines were descendants of the giants of Gath, but David and his warriors killed them.

David’s Song of Praise

22 David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang:

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
    my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
    and my place of safety.
He is my refuge, my savior,
    the one who saves me from violence.
I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
    and he saved me from my enemies.

“The waves of death overwhelmed me;
    floods of destruction swept over me.
The grave[j] wrapped its ropes around me;
    death laid a trap in my path.
But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
    yes, I cried to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
    my cry reached his ears.

“Then the earth quaked and trembled.
    The foundations of the heavens shook;
    they quaked because of his anger.
Smoke poured from his nostrils;
    fierce flames leaped from his mouth.
    Glowing coals blazed forth from him.
10 He opened the heavens and came down;
    dark storm clouds were beneath his feet.
11 Mounted on a mighty angelic being,[k] he flew,
    soaring[l] on the wings of the wind.
12 He shrouded himself in darkness,
    veiling his approach with dense rain clouds.
13 A great brightness shone around him,
    and burning coals[m] blazed forth.
14 The Lord thundered from heaven;
    the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered his enemies;
    his lightning flashed, and they were confused.
16 Then at the command of the Lord,
    at the blast of his breath,
the bottom of the sea could be seen,
    and the foundations of the earth were laid bare.

17 “He reached down from heaven and rescued me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies,
    from those who hated me and were too strong for me.
19 They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress,
    but the Lord supported me.
20 He led me to a place of safety;
    he rescued me because he delights in me.
21 The Lord rewarded me for doing right;
    he restored me because of my innocence.
22 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
    I have not turned from my God to follow evil.
23 I have followed all his regulations;
    I have never abandoned his decrees.
24 I am blameless before God;
    I have kept myself from sin.
25 The Lord rewarded me for doing right.
    He has seen my innocence.

26 “To the faithful you show yourself faithful;
    to those with integrity you show integrity.
27 To the pure you show yourself pure,
    but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
28 You rescue the humble,
    but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.
29 O Lord, you are my lamp.
    The Lord lights up my darkness.
30 In your strength I can crush an army;
    with my God I can scale any wall.

31 “God’s way is perfect.
    All the Lord’s promises prove true.
    He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.
32 For who is God except the Lord?
    Who but our God is a solid rock?
33 God is my strong fortress,
    and he makes my way perfect.
34 He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    enabling me to stand on mountain heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
    he strengthens my arm to draw a bronze bow.
36 You have given me your shield of victory;
    your help[n] has made me great.
37 You have made a wide path for my feet
    to keep them from slipping.

38 “I chased my enemies and destroyed them;
    I did not stop until they were conquered.
39 I consumed them;
    I struck them down so they did not get up;
    they fell beneath my feet.
40 You have armed me with strength for the battle;
    you have subdued my enemies under my feet.
41 You placed my foot on their necks.
    I have destroyed all who hated me.
42 They looked for help, but no one came to their rescue.
    They even cried to the Lord, but he refused to answer.
43 I ground them as fine as the dust of the earth;
    I trampled them[o] in the gutter like dirt.

44 “You gave me victory over my accusers.
    You preserved me as the ruler over nations;
    people I don’t even know now serve me.
45 Foreign nations cringe before me;
    as soon as they hear of me, they submit.
46 They all lose their courage
    and come trembling[p] from their strongholds.

47 “The Lord lives! Praise to my Rock!
    May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
48 He is the God who pays back those who harm me;
    he brings down the nations under me
49     and delivers me from my enemies.
You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies;
    you save me from violent opponents.
50 For this, O Lord, I will praise you among the nations;
    I will sing praises to your name.
51 You give great victories to your king;
    you show unfailing love to your anointed,
    to David and all his descendants forever.”

Footnotes

  1. 21:6 As in Greek version (see also 21:9); Hebrew reads at Gibeah of Saul, the chosen of the Lord.
  2. 21:7 Mephibosheth is another name for Merib-baal.
  3. 21:8 As in a few Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and Syriac version (see also 1 Sam 18:19); most Hebrew manuscripts read Michal.
  4. 21:16a Or a descendant of the Rapha; also in 21:18, 20, 22.
  5. 21:16b Hebrew 300 [shekels] [3.4 kilograms].
  6. 21:19a As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:5; Hebrew reads son of Jaare-oregim.
  7. 21:19b As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:5; Hebrew reads killed Goliath of Gath.
  8. 21:20 As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:6; Hebrew reads a Midianite.
  9. 21:21 As in parallel text at 1 Chr 20:7; Hebrew reads Shimei, a variant spelling of Shimea.
  10. 22:6 Hebrew Sheol.
  11. 22:11a Hebrew a cherub.
  12. 22:11b As in some Hebrew manuscripts (see also Ps 18:10); other Hebrew manuscripts read appearing.
  13. 22:13 Or and lightning bolts.
  14. 22:36 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads your answering.
  15. 22:43 As in Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Ps 18:42); Masoretic Text reads I crushed and trampled them.
  16. 22:46 As in parallel text at Ps 18:45; Hebrew reads come girding themselves.

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